A brave new world — Family Court

By Nathaniel Groarke

As Sam Cooke sang, ‘a change is gonna come’. For family lawyers, change is upon us. The single Family Court is now live as of 22 April. So what will the changes mean?

The change that is going to be most apparent to solicitors and those going through family proceedings will be the increasing insistence upon other forms of dispute resolution being considered, as opposed to relying upon the court to resolve issues. Before being able to start proceedings in relation to children, the applicants will have to confirm whether or not they have attempted mediation. This will be within the application form itself. In a similar vein, most family applications will require the parties to confirm whether or not they have attended a mediation information assessment meeting (MIAM). Essentially, this meeting is intended to find out whether alternative methods could be used to solve the problems that are in issue, as opposed to going through the congested court system.

In addition to this, the intention behind the rules is to streamline the application process and to make it more efficient. All family work will now come under the umbrella of the Family Court. England and Wales will be divided up into geographical areas that will be led by a designated family judge. The intention is that there will be more thought given to the allocation of new cases taking into account issues such as judicial continuity, avoidance of delay, location of the parties and any child(ren) and the complexity of the matter…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Withers briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in

Register

It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer

 

Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.

 

Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.

 

Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Withers

  • Family law revolution

    22 April 2014 marked ‘the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes’, according to the president of the Family Division.

  • A day out with the Charity Tax Group

    Withers’ Graham Elliott discusses the points he found most interesting from this year’s Charity Tax Group annual meeting.

View more briefings from Withers

Analysis from The Lawyer

Browse This Firm’s

Overview

16 Old Bailey
City of London
London
EC4M 7EG
UK

Turnover (£m): 123.30
No. of lawyers: 313